Rivendell Books, a used, rare, and out-of-print book store in Barrie, Ontario is home to a history buff who spends his days and nights pacing the aisle that shelves books on WWI and WWII. He reads and obsesses about the Great War, often removing books from the shelves and sorting them into piles. But he isn’t an employee that needs to be given direction, and he isn’t a loyal, yet irritating customer. He’s a ghost.
The oldest bookstore in America, the Moravian Book Shop in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, has been continuously running for over 270 years. There are some solid arguments that it’s actually the longest running bookstore in all of the world (Sullivan, 2016). Of course, a place like this would pick up a few ghosts over the centuries. There are at least two spirits haunting this bookstore—if you believe the stories, of course.
Today’s blog post is a little shorter, because I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and I’m writing an entire book in just thirty days. I don’t have many words to spare! I picked this story to dissect because there isn’t much evidence supporting or refuting the claims of the people who’ve seen strange things in this bookshop. But it still makes for a fascinating story…
An ironic ghost haunts the basement of Attic Books, an antiquarian and used bookstore in London, Ontario. I’ve decided to start BibliOccult with this story, because not only have I been to this bookstore, but I may have encountered its spirit. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Built in the mid-to-late 1800s, the stunning red brick building on 240 Dundas Street was initially only one storey, with the first and second storeys being added during renovations in 1880. The gargoyle, which adds a Gothic look to the building, was only added in 1996 (1).
The building has housed many businesses over the last century and a half. The first inhabitant of note is Abraham Spry. He worked as a tailor in the building in 1875 (1). However, he only stayed there a year before moving on, transferring his business to another building on Dundas Street. It’s my understanding that he didn’t stay there long enough to grow attached to the building. He didn’t stay there long enough to die.
Welcome to BibliOccult, Library of the Odd, the Obscure, and the Occult. Other than the fact that I clearly love alliteration, what does that tell you about this blog? This will be a place where you can find a variety of posts to tickle your fancy and send chills down your spine. If you thrive on the bizarre, and you’re intrigued by the unknown, then you’ve come to the right place.
Updated weekly, this website will curate strange (but not always supernatural) stories from the news and from history, as well as the occasional book or film review. I’m fascinated by the supernatural, especially ghosts, so they’ll be a highlight of this blog. In addition to being a librarian, I’m a murderino with a forensics degree, so there will inevitably be some analyses of unexplained murders (and their subsequent hauntings) thrown into the mix.
If you’re interested, click follow. The first official post will be on Friday the 13th. I look forward to unnerving you soon…